Saying “Your idea is worthless” is not to nullify the importance of great ideas, but to drill in a point. Of course turning ideas into action is what entrepreneurship is all about. But there’s another factor, as big as any idea you’ll ever have, that controls the future even more. And this is meant in the most real, hard-asset, non-touchy-feely kind of way.
More vital than any idea you’ll come up with are the people you’ll come up with to bring your idea to life. Ideas are nothing but static, dormant non-things until people make them tangible, adaptable, executable, and saleable. People are the only machines on earth that can perform this entrepreneurial alchemy by turning a concept into something concrete.
Here’s what the great entrepreneur turned investor Yossi Vardi said to us about it when we were chatting in a Tel Aviv coffee shop:
When someone comes to me with [a] big nondisclosure agreement to sign, I tell them, “I’m sorry, but you need an investor who is much cleverer than me, I wish you luck.” They sometimes can’t believe this. They look at me like I’m crazy and say, “But how could you not be interested in the world’s most amazing idea?” And I tell them, “I couldn’t care less about your idea. In fact, I don’t even want to know what it is. Because between now and your being successful enough to get customers to buy it, it may change 20 times from what it is today. The only thing I know that I am buying that ...